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I like pens a lot, right?  I’ve got this whole website devoted to them.  I’ll say nice things about pens which are marginal at best.  So, with that as a context, I hope you’ll understand how much of an insult I offer when I say that this is a very bad pen indeed.  Unlike just about every other pen-specific page, this is a warning against buying.  Even the Mystic Traveller only earned indifference.

I bought this pen in the 1980s, when the concept of “never too thin” really got its hooks into the North American psyche.  Its main attribute is thinness.  It… works most of the time, and that’s as highly as I can praise its function.  It has the stiffest point of any pen I own, beating out even the known-for-stiffness Lamy Safari, and adds to that stiffness a demand for more pressure than a fountain pen should ever need to lay down a line and a sort of proto-scratchiness that never commits enough to make you toss the pen for distance.  It also bugs me that there’s been an effort made to make the derby look like the button on a retractable ball-point– because if you’re cool, you’re not carrying a fountain pen, I suppose.  Oh, it’s also all-brass bodied, so it’s rather heavy.

Despite all this, I still can’t bring myself to condemn everything that’s ever been made by Apis– Hyundai rose above the Pony, after all– and I imagine that the later models of Apis pens are magnificently better than this “vintage” example.  That would make them… passable.  I certainly can’t recommend this particular object, though.

Production Run: Uncertain; mid-1980s purchase.  Update: A Korean pen collector contacted me to let me know the model name (this page was, until January 2020, titled “Unknown Model”), and to give a somewhat better sense of the dates. My memory of the purchase suggested something done in in the ’80s, but he tells me it appeared in the ’90s and continued in production until the company stopped making anything at all in 2014.

Cost When New: Low, since I bought it on a whim during my unemployed halcyon days at university. Update: also from my informant: ₩50,000 (roughly $43.00). I suspect they might have been price reduced for export, because I was not dropping that sort of money on a pen at the time.

Size: 13.3 cm long capped, 15.0 cm posted, 12.0 uncapped.

Point: Plated steel.

Body: Painted brass.

Filler: Cartridge, capacity approx. 0.6 ml or 1.4 ml (international pattern). Update: In Korea, they were sold with a squeeze-fill converter.

It looks better than it writes.

If you are relying on the preceding information to win a bet or impress a teacher, you should read the site’s scholarly caveat. Remember, this is the internet, and it’s full of bad information.

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